Mississippi State football roundtable: Should we panic about this defense?

Sep 23, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks running back Mario Anderson (24) rushes against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the second half at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks running back Mario Anderson (24) rushes against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the second half at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports /

The Mississippi State Bulldogs fell short on the road against the South Carolina Gamecocks. Should Mississippi State football fans panic about the defense?

How’re we feeling about Saturday night’s loss?

There were some bright spots, like Kevin Barbay and Will Rogers being on the same page. It was really fun to see MSU take shots down field.

And there were some less than ideal things, like turnovers, offensive line issues, and a porous secondary. State lost 37-30.

It could’ve been worse. How do y’all feel right now?

Today, we’ve got the following folks chiming in:

 Mississippi State football roundtable: How concerned should MSU fans be about the defense?

John King: I am willing to accept that the offense’s only issue was Barbay not being in the booth and that is now fixed. Was it for better perspective or to get away from Arnett’s meddling? No one will ever know

Now that Arnett can’t meddle on offense, he should start meddling on defense and fix some things

Ethan Lee: Yeah, that’s going to be such a weird storyline to look back on after this season is over. That feels very indicative of this coaching staff being young and having to grow.

Ryan Strickland: SCAR’s defense might be just as bad as ours. I’m not completely confident this offense is ready to start rolling and looking like what it needs to be just yet but last night was a lot of fun even with the loss.

Barbay in the booth is what needs to keep happening so he can see the field and also get away from Arnett. Rogers played one of the best games he’s ever played at QB last night and it was great to see. Tulu is a straight up force in open space. They had it won and should’ve won but mistakes got the better of them especially on defense.

That defense is atrocious. Arnett should be embarrassed. He has the knowledge and experience to fix it. He needs to step in fully and fix it at this point. Yes, Daniels and Rattler are good QBs but they aren’t All Pros. Rattler didn’t have an incompletion until the second half I believe. That’s inexcusable. I’m not as down on this team and season as I was before this game but there are still a lot of issues and concerns that need to be dealt with if they want to get to a bowl game.

Also, be mad at the interception on the goal line call all you want. It was a bad call in my opinion and should not have been upheld. But the other call was correct and it was a fumble. Everyone can stop breaking down the film like some criminal investigation.

It was a fumble.

Ryan Strickland: Forgot to mention that the defense let the worst rushing attack in the conference have a great night. Again, the defense is atrocious and needs to be fixed if this team has any shot at a bowl game. I cannot believe a Mississippi State defense is this bad and cannot believe it might end up being the reason the bowl streak ends. Especially with Arnett still with the program and leading it. It’s truly embarrassing.

Ethan Lee: It’s awful that bad defense is a bigger storyline than Tulu Griffin setting a receiving record. That shouldn’t happen, and yet…

John King: I think the scales would tip toward Tulu if we had won. He was lights out. But setting a record in a loss will never get as much publicity as it would in a win

Mississippi State football: Should Bulldogs fans feel optimistic?

Ethan Lee: Anyone feeling any reason for optimism as MSU moves forward? The more I look back on that game, the better I feel about the offense and it looks like maybe Will Rogers can thrive in this system. It was refreshing to see some of those deep shots that Rogers and the offense took.

I’m not feeling great about the defense at all though. I don’t think there’s a quick fix for that at all.

John King: If a defense has to sell out to stop our run game, we showed that we have the firepower to beat them in the passing game. It bodes well for plucking a game or two from the rest of our SEC opponents I think.

Ryan Strickland: I think you can feel better after Saturday about the offense at least. Rogers went out there and did what everyone has been wanting him to do for a long, long time and the offense actually looked like a hell of a lot of fun. If they can do like 75% of that every week, they’ll be a fun team to watch week in and week out.

I think it’s almost panic time for the defense though. It probably should already be panic time. It has to show some improvements soon. It’s real bad. It’s really upsetting that Rogers did what he did on Saturday and the defense let him down. It’s like the team can’t get right. One side pulls through and the other steps on the rake or both sides just don’t show up at all.

3 burning questions after MSU loss to South Carolina. dark. Next